Good hobbies for depression: 9 Hobbies for self-care

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In this blog we present to you 9 hobbies for depression for self care and self love. 

Good hobbies for depression: 9 Hobbies for self care

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Here are 9 good hobbies for depression:

  • Art related hobbies
  • Journaling
  • Writing poetry
  • Dance
  • Creating music
  • Culinary hobbies
  • Crafting
  • Working out
  • Gardening.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.

It can be debilitating in the sense that it impacts a person’s physical health. Cognition, emotions, and behaviour. It can cause changes in diet, weight, and sleep hygiene. 

While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death. 

The unfortunate thing about depression and any other mental illness is the stigma that surrounds it. While WHO says that depression is very common- close to 280 million people worldwide have depression- there are many cultures that are still unaware of the disorder and its impact on people’s lives. 

In order to feel better or to raise your spirits, it is essential to be productive and proactive. One of the key factors to being productive is having a hobby. 

A hobby is an activity that a person enjoys and practices in their free time, keeping them productive and also giving them a sense of accomplishment. 

Along with receiving therapy, having a hobby could be very helpful in keeping a positive attitude. Whatever your purpose of wanting to start a hobby is, it is important that you engage in the hobby with the awareness of why. If it is to connect with other people, open yourself up to others who enjoy the activity and pursue opportunities to meet new people.

If the purpose for the hobby is rest, engage in it without expectations and without judgement, let it be a moment of people and fun that you get to indulge in without the restraints of your life.

Here are some hobbies for you to try out for depression:

Art related hobbies

Art is a form of expressing yourself when you feel words cannot describe how you are feeling. 

Even colouring, and personally for me ‘join the dots’ is very satisfying and therapeutic. Remember, art does not need to be ‘perfect’ or ‘beautiful’, so do not let that get to you. 

If you are unsure about where to start or how to go about creating art, you could search up some YouTube tutorials or sign up for a class that would act like a starting point. 

Journaling

Oftentimes in therapy the clients are asked to maintain a journal and this is because it helps track the person’s behaviour patterns, symptoms and how often they occur. 

The journal can contain small notes on how you may be feeling, your small accomplishments through the day or even the moments where you were at your lowest and why that happened, the journal acts as your safe place. 

Keeping a journal is a very healthy practice and acts as a mental checklist, just like how there is an unconscious checklist for your physical health.

Writing poetry

A poem, unlike its small size, speaks volumes about what the writer is feeling and what they wish to talk about. 

In recent times writing poetry has become a very popular form of expressing oneself. The writer could directly talk about their feelings or even express their opinions regarding the situation that they are in or the world around them. 

Dance

Apart from being a form of physical exercise, dance is a form of expressing oneself through bodily movement. A lot of research studies have shown that dance is an excellent way to fight off feelings of anxiety and depression. 

 Many people like to dance alone in their rooms, it helps lift their spirits, distract them from what they’re feeling, forget about their problems and just enjoy the moment. 

Music or playing an instrument

There are an endless amount of free tutorials and courses online for you to be able to learn an instrument. It is an excellent hobby for anyone. You can opt for second hand instruments if your budget is tight. 

Taking classes can be a great way to meet people and it can even be a great conversation starter in gatherings. Music is a wonderful tool that can open you up to a new community and new people.

Cooking 

Cooking is an excellent hobby for anyone. It challenges you to be creative, provides an observable result, that you can enjoy alone or share with others. It is an excellent way to connect with other people, and some people also consider cooking relaxing/ 

You can learn recipes from the internet, ask a friend to join you, join classes to meet new people, you can even bake some cookies for the next door neighbour to start a friendship. 

Crafting

Crafting is a process of making things with your own two hands. Maybe it is an original idea that you had or a YouTube video that you watched, the final product gives us a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. 

Crafting is not limited to making big projects but could even be small things like making origami animals, toys for your pet to play with, jewellery, crocheting, and so on. 

Exercise

Any kind of physical activity is a great hobby for anyone, especially if you experience bouts of depression or related loneliness. Running is a great solitary activity however, it can also improve the state of your physique.

Other than these physical and mental benefits, exercise or running can also help you meet new people who also love running through marathons or through the shared activity of working out together in the gym.  

Gardening

Taking care of a single plant or a number of them is a very therapeutic and rewarding practice. It also helps set a routine for your day as the plants may have specific times during which they need to be cared for or watered. 

Gardening also pushes us to learn more about nature and how to care for the plants that you have. You do not need a big outdoor open garden; you could even work or volunteer at a local park or garden or care for indoor house plants.

What to do if you have depression?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.

It can be debilitating in the sense that it impacts a person’s physical health. Cognition, emotions, and behaviour. It can cause changes in diet, weight, and sleep hygiene. 

Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts. 

Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives. 

People with depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.

This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts. 

While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death. 

If you have depression or know someone who has depression, here are a few things that one can do to seek help:

Reach out

If you find yourself struggling with depression and loneliness, we urge you to seek support from a professional immediately. 

Here are a few resources form the NHS that you can make use of if you are suicidal, depressed, or engageing in self harm. 

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: [email protected] for a reply within 24 hours
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19
  • If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
  • Self Injury Support webchat (for women and girls) is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm to 9.30pm
  • CALM webchat (for men) is open from 5pm to midnight every day

You can also reach out to your local medical service providers or a mental health service provider. 

If you are hesitant about reaching out for help, speak to a trusted friend or adult about what you are going through.

Do not hesitate to make use of resources provided to seek out professional support.

Seek professional help

Seek out professional help when these thoughts don’t improve after a week or two even after you have tried to manage them alone. 

It is also imperative that you seek out help when the intensity of these thoughts and feelings disrupt your ability to function and meet the demands of your daily life. 

When loneliness turns to thoughts and feelings of hopelessness it can aggravate your suicidal ideation, this is a major symptom of depression. So seeking out professional help becomes necessary. 

Conclusion

In this blog we present to you 9 hobbies for depression for self care and self love. 

FAQ related to Good hobbies for depression

What hobbies are good for depression?

Here are 9 good hobbies for depression:

  • Art related hobbies
  • Journaling
  • Writing poetry
  • Dance
  • Creating music
  • Culinary hobbies

Do hobbies prevent depression?

There is plenty of research that finds that hobbies are very likely to prevent stress- thus, it is possible that hobbies will lilley have a positive impact on mental health. 

How can depression affect hobbies?

One of the major symptoms of depression is the lack of interest and apathy that one experiences as a result of emotional shunting. It is likely that when you are depressed, you will not be motivated to engage in your hobbies, going so far as to drop the hobby as well. . 

References

12 Best Hobbies to Help Fight Anxiety & Depression. Hobby Help. Retrieved on 18th April 2022. https://hobbyhelp.com/inspiration/hobbies-to-fight-anxiety-depression/

21 Best Hobbies To Help Fight Anxiety & Depression. HobbyKraze.Retrieved on 18th April 2022.https://thehobbykraze.com/zest-for-life/best-hobbies-to-help-fight-anxiety-depression/

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